Entwined Histories Series, 2012-2022

RESOURCE 

This is a schools based cross community exploration of significant anniversaries and themes emerging from the Decade of Centenaries.

The programme’s main aim is to assist in education, dialogue and reflection on the conflicting narratives that have developed around the events of 1912-1922, challenging myths and providing new perspectives of the past.

Principal Outcomes

Through participation, young people gain a:

  1. Greater understanding of the complexity of Irish history, with greater recognition of commonality and shared experiences;
  2. Greater understanding of how the past continues to influence current attitudes, opinions and behaviours;
  3. Greater capacity for working with others from diverse backgrounds.

Each year, around 80 young people from a range of backgrounds engage in and benefit from a series of interactive workshops, field trips and residential, on a set theme, working towards the above outcomes that will develop their skills and capabilities in the context of the overall aim of the programme.

The 80 young people work in 4 mixed groups towards a common goal. Information, learning and thoughts are documented through 4 final arts based pieces, produced in partnership with Nerve Centre. These have included live drama performances, radio broadcasts, poster campaigns and short films.

The project develops each year but follows a core model using drama and creative media in order to engage the students with the historical material and facilitate their confidence in mixing and forming relationships with new people.

In particular we are keen to provide hands on and consistent support to each mixed group through training drama facilitators in good relations facilitation, so that they may be equipped to give to the students one-to-one interactions and support in a reconciliation context.

Topics have included the signing of the Ulster Covenant; Labour Relations and the Dublin Lockout; The First World War and the effect of the short and long term impacts of the war on Irish politics and society, North and South; the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme.

Some of our projects have explored the broader social, economic and political history of the period 1912-1922 adding depth and breadth to the project. These themes have included the Home Front; the notion of Identity, the role of Women and the Belfast Shipyard.

As the decade of centenaries moves into its final 4 years and perhaps the most significant and complicated events that redefined the island of Ireland, the focus of Entwined Histories projects from 2018-2022 will be on the partition of Ireland and the general theme of borders.

While many groups and schools have participated in Entwined Histories over the past years, particular thank yous go to the staff and students of Wallace High School, Ashfield Girls' High School, Blessed Trinity College and Lagan College for their continuing support and contributions through this series.